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Download Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (Unabridged) Audiobook, by John Garth
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Garth Narrator: John Garth Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN:
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A new biography exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's wartime experiences and their impact on his life and his writing of The Lord of The Rings.

To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939 ... by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead. So J.R.R. Tolkien responded to critics who saw The Lord of the Rings as a reaction to the Second World War.

Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle-earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe. This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology to life. It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil.

John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle-earth's enduring power. Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generation. While his contemporaries surrendered to disillusionment, he kept enchantment alive, reshaping an entire literary tradition into a form that resonates to this day.

This is the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977, meticulously researched and distilled from his personal wartime papers and a multitude of other sources.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Spanishliz | 2/5/2014

    " Trying to read this reminded me why I have no intention of ever persevering with any of Tolkien's books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 1/22/2014

    " It's an interesting bit of insight, but it is a bit meandering. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Eden | 1/4/2014

    " This book is very engaging, as Tolkien biography and for its illustration of what WW I was like. I was particularly taken by the personalities of Tolkien's close school friends, in particular the "study in friendship" represented by Tolkien and Christopher Wiseman. Tolkien and Wiseman had significant differences of opinion, but shared a friendship based in part on lively debate. The description of Tolkien's personality as a young man is also fresh and new. This book shows a gregariousness and power in Tolkien's personality that isn't very apparent in previous work like Carpenter's biography or even Letters by Tolkien. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofia | 12/23/2013

    " An interesting analysis and outline of Tolkien's wartime experiences I'd recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about the genesis of Tolkien's ideas and the influence of the First World War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/18/2013

    " A brilliant, absorbing, and detailed look at Tolkien's life with of course most emphasis on his life during World War One. A must read for anyone interested in the background of the man behind Middle-earth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tabetha Nguyen | 12/9/2013

    " It interesting to see where Tolkien could have and may have drawn from to get his ideas for his great triology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon Fisher | 12/8/2013

    " Tough going at times but a wonderful discourse on England at war and how the war influenced Tolkien's writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Owens | 8/22/2013

    " Amazing! A must read for any Tolkien fan! It will really blow your mind and kinda break your heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 5/17/2013

    " Engrossing narrative about Tolkien's development as a writer and man. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christian | 4/14/2013

    " Anybody expecting a Tolkien biography or a primarily military narrative, don't bother. This book mostly deals with Tolkien's pre-war relationships with his school friends, the TCBS etc. and the creative leaps his writing took as the experiences of his life affected him. A very slow and tedious read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 12/23/2012

    " Some of the sections on philology read as very dry, but overall, the biographical info is stellar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rw | 11/2/2012

    " Exceptional biography of the early days of Tolkien, his friendships, studies and how WW I affected him and the creation of his mythologies. Just think of what we would have never known or lost if Tolkien had not survived the Battle of the Somme. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 4/29/2011

    " One of the most important and thoroughly researched works on the early Tolkien. I highly recommend this and especially hearing John Garth read it. A must for any lover of Tolkien. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/1/2011

    " A brilliant, absorbing, and detailed look at Tolkien's life with of course most emphasis on his life during World War One. A must read for anyone interested in the background of the man behind Middle-earth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tabetha | 12/28/2010

    " It interesting to see where Tolkien could have and may have drawn from to get his ideas for his great triology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofia | 10/1/2009

    " An interesting analysis and outline of Tolkien's wartime experiences I'd recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about the genesis of Tolkien's ideas and the influence of the First World War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 6/1/2009

    " Some of the sections on philology read as very dry, but overall, the biographical info is stellar. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 11/11/2008

    " It's an interesting bit of insight, but it is a bit meandering. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 6/15/2008

    " Engrossing narrative about Tolkien's development as a writer and man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 5/20/2008

    " This was an interesting read, it is about the life of JRR Tolkien, author of lord of the rings. It is about his growing up and times of world war one and his military career. I would suggest it if you like his work. "

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